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Heat pump not cooling like it use to

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23 replies to this topic

#21 Patricio



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Posted 07 May 2012 - 08:25 PM

No price War just a honest opinion. Brazing is not hard, I have done a lot of it. The cost of Brazing a splice, putting 3 pounds of Freon into system, confirming correct pressure, & checking the capacitors to see if they are getting weak for $800. Is AC work that expensive cause of the price of Freon? Should I go To our Trade School & for AC repair & take up a new profession (everybody has AC in South Texas, job security) Is $800 reasonable or way off. That is my Question.

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#22 Bullstok



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Posted 07 May 2012 - 09:01 PM

I dont mean it like that. What other people charge is none of my business. I do not tell customers that the competition is wrong. I give my honest opinion after doing a proper diagnosis and let them decide. At face value that price sounds high. But there are 50 million variables that I don't know that could be leading to that price. Unless I have seen it myself, I like to keep my feet out of my mouth. You could live in the center of the desert for all I know. Out in real life, I prefer to sell by not selling. There are plenty others willing to go on and on about how great their cheeseburger is.

Anyhow... So let's say that what you said was my proper diagnosis:

Pull remaining freon into condenser. Purge system with nitrogen. Braze leaking joint(s). Pressurize with nitrogen (or skip). Vac system down. Confirm no more leaks. Release condenser charge. Run system. Charge properly (verify air flow and such). Check electrical, capacitor, amp draw on all 3 motors, etc.

Guessing 3 to 4 hours or so labor depending on exactlly how bad it is. Let's say $150 to 200.
Guessing $200 to 300 material depending on how low on freon. Braze rod, acetylene, nitrogen, misc.
Service call fee (varies by company) say $70
So around $500 assuming no other issues.
Oh wait... $300 union fee. Just kidding, please no cement shoes for me. Thx.

Edited by Bullstok, 08 May 2012 - 06:22 AM.

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#23 Daveb1972



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Posted 10 May 2012 - 12:13 PM

Leaks are often just not worth fixing here in NY. with the average life expectancy of a condenser at 10-15 years, (the engineers tell us 10 years) your unit is already well within that range. I'd get a replacement quote first (2-3 of them in fact) and see if you can slip into something a little more efficient. That said, a propper repair can get you a few more good years.

BUT BEWARE, money inversted in this repair can be wasted if next year the comp goes, or another leak is found....etc. Also some companies will tell you they can change the condensing unit and reuse the evaporator, I'd be reall leery of that as well. The new systems are allmost all R410a which has much higher pressure durring operation, and the coils are matched to the condensor, so to get correct cooling and efficiency, they need to be correctly matched. The line set can sometimes be reused, if all of the connections are brazed (due to the higher pressures).

Some techs use "hard solder" or "Stay Brite 8" solder, which is supposed to be stronger than standard solder, but I prefer braze, make sure he purges with N2 and verifies fix with an actual vaccume (micron)guage (the manifold set gauge doesnt count!) I've seen vereren techs use the sound of the vaccume pump to determine if the system is propperly evacuated.Some times they will reccomend fixed metering instead of TXV, dont do it!

The pricing sounds about right for that type of repair, but I'd wanna be sure all of the leaks have been found. What did the Tech use to find the leak? was the evap checked as well? Chances are all of the joints in this system are soldered, and may exibit the same issue soon too.

When shopping for a quote, look for the major players; Carrier/Bryant, Lennox, Trane. I'd skip the Goodmans, Kenmore, Tappan, Kelvinator, etc....but thats my prefference.
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#24 Shootist



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Posted 15 May 2012 - 10:02 PM

If you have an obvious freon leak on an exterior solder joint it would be foolish NOT to fix it. $800 is overpriced. Call around and you may get it as low as $300 if you get a cash discount. You're talking 30-45 minutes worth of work. I'm kind of curious how they we're able to determine exactly how much freon that was going to be added.
Once the leak is fixed it doesn't matter the cost of R-22 as you wont need any.....for a while.

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